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5 of the best beach towns in Ireland

Ireland is experiencing a bit of heatwave this weekend, so I figured it’d be nice to show off some of our best beach towns just in case you decide to step out in the sun.

Best Beach Towns in Ireland

Tramore, Co. Waterford
Waterford has long been famous with the Irish for much more than it’s crystal. When the sun is shining in Ireland you’ll be sure to find Tramore beach attracting a large crowd. With approximately 3 miles of sand, some decent surf, and the fact that it is in the heart of Ireland’s sunny southeast, it is easy to see why it is so popular.
With plenty more to enjoy nearby including horse racing, fishing, beautiful walks, a water park, and good golf facilities, a trip to Tramore will almost certainly please.

Tramore Beach, Waterford,

Tramore Beach, Waterford

Portrush, Co. Antrim
Head way up north now to Antrim in Northern Ireland and you’ll find the beautiful seaside town of Portrush. With 3 sandy beaches to choose from, you certainly won’t be short of a place to put your beach towel down. When not at the beach you’ll have plenty of other things to keep yourself busy with. Being in Antrim, you’re not too far from 2 of the North’s most famous attractions – Dunluce Castle and the Giant’s Causeway. This area is very popular with golf fans also. It’s no coincidence that professional golfer Graeme McDowell was born in Portrush, and Darren Clarke lives here.

Inchydoney, Co. Cork
Let’s get you all the way back down south again now, this time to Inchydoney beach and Clonakilty town in Cork. The beach and surrounding areas are popular with swimmers, windsurfers, kayakers, nature enthusiasts and you can even do a spot of whale watching.
When you’ve had enough fun at the beach, head back to Clonakilty for a lively trad session in one of the fine pubs (don’t miss De Barra’s), take a trip to the West Cork Model Railway Village, and if you’re in Clon on a Friday don’t miss the food market (I’ll take some black pudding please!)

Inchdoney Beach

Inchdoney Beach, Cork

Bundoran, Co. Donegal
According to this report Donegal has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in Ireland. That’s some clean Atlantic water! One of those beautiful Donegal beaches is Bundoran. A very picturesque spot, popular with tourists, bathers, surfers and horses. That’s right folks; don’t be surprised to see horses running along the waterline as you enjoy a dip in this scenic North Atlantic area.
The town of Bundoran offers plenty in the way of tourist attractions and activities. The video below, by Donegal TV, is a great advert for the area, so I’ll leave it to them to woo you.

Greystones, Co. Wicklow
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin city center? Then hop on the DART and head south to Greystones, located along Ireland’s east coast in County Wicklow. This is another very popular beach with sunseekers, especially during the summer months. The North Beach is a mixture of pebble/shingle and sand, while the south beach is the sandier option.
While in Wicklow be sure to take some time to enjoy some of the stunning coastal scenery and don’t forget your camera if you’re taking a tour of the Round Tower at Glendalough.

best beach towns in Ireland,greystones beach wicklow

Greystones Beach, Wicklow

Are there more?

I’m almost positive there are some of you bashing your keyboard in disagreement with my list of best beach towns in Ireland. With hundred’s of miles of beach, and countless beach towns to go along with them, I’m sure there’s a good chance I have not included your own favorite. So let’s hear it! Add a comment below with your favorite Irish beach town.

note: not all Irish beaches are watched by lifeguards. Be safe!

image credits: Tramore, Inchydoney, Greystones


  1. Well it didn’t take long for a few disgruntled beach-goers to start sending me messages of discontent 🙂 I’ve heard from the “Where’s Galway?” crowd, and the “What, no Clare?!” bandwagon were quick to get in touch. Folks, that’s the beauty of having your say. There’s so many great beach towns all over the country, and this was only 5 of them. I’m well aware of the likes of Salthill and Lahinch, Kilkee and Spiddal. And I’m sure there’s plenty more. Feel free to add more great Irish beach towns to the list…

  2. veronica barrett


  3. I’m surprised to see Greystones on the list. Beautiful location for sure, but very stoney. I’ll add Enniscrone and Lahinch (both home to world famous golf courses).

  4. Donegal has several great beaches in the county, usually very deserted! But as Beach towns go we also like a couple more- in Duncannon Wexford & Dunmore East Waterford [ I have a post on em on my blog if you’re interested :)]

  5. I absolutely love Fanore Beach in County Clare. One of those that I could sit for hours and hours on. Inch Beach in Co. Kerry is a great beach as well though…oh to visit them all! 🙂

  6. Inishbofin island! Most beautiful beach I have ever seen. Does it still count if it’s not a town? 🙂